MASK FOR TREASON by Vaughan Shelton


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It is Shelton's contention that John Wilkes Booth did not assassinate Lincoln singlehandedly but rather as a member of a conspiracy which included Secret Service Chief Baker and possibly Secretary of War Stanton. Booth himself, says Shelton, was a mere foil. He was supposed to have been poisoned so that he would not survive the assassination night and so that the incident would be ascribed to him alone and all investigations closed. In support of these ideas Shelton uses inductive logic on the materials at hand, including the trial records. The burning legend of John Wilkes Booth as the lone assassin is not likely to be disturbed by new evidence to the contrary. But Shelton has arranged some fancy insights into what may have been the truth. And that a historic miscarriage of justice took place is once again documented-- the eight ""conspirators"" including a woman were tried by military court-martial rather than civil court. Not only did the military lack jurisdiction, but the accused were denied many of their civil rights, especially that of appeal. Although these theories are not new, and the price is not right for tight budgets, Shelton's reworking of the evidence has the ring of truth, which is to say that this is one of the most readable of speculations.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1965
Publisher: Stackpole